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Education has been hit hard by the pandemic, with schools forced to close to most pupils for extended periods, interruption to the school year, absences amongst teachers and pupils alike, and disruption and temporary abandonment of external school exams.

The Government first announced an initial package of recovery funding in June 2020, with further funding announcements following in the spring 2021 Budget and June 2021. A total of £3.1 billion has so far been announced, mainly in catch-up and tutoring funding. The funding is split between funding provided directly to schools; and central funding for programmes such as tutoring.

Before any of this announced funding can be released it needs to be included in Estimates presented to, and approved by, Parliament. The DfE’s Main Estimate for 2021-22, published on 13 May, set out the DfE’s spending plans for the current year, including some of this recovery funding. Further funding, announced since the Main Estimate was published, is expected to be included in the DfE’s Supplementary Estimate 2021-22, to be published in early 2022.

This Estimates day debate on funding for education recovery, proposed by Robert Halfon, Chair of the Commons Education Committee, is due to take place on Tuesday 29 June, the first of two Estimates day debates that day.

Following the conclusion of all Estimates day debates the following day, the House will be invited to approve a motion agreeing the total amounts of funding included in the DfE’s Main Estimate, before the Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) Bill is put before the House. This Bill uses an accelerated process, with no further debates or committee stages, and is expected to become law before the summer recess.

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